Thousands of dollars unaccounted for in Pointe Coupee Parish
NEW ROADS - Thousands of dollars intended to be spent on recreational programs in Pointe Coupee Parish are unaccounted for, according to parish officials.
News 2 obtained a series of checks which details questionable spending practices in the parish. At least $16,000 was spent by the recreation department for basketball, baseball and softball games. The people who worked the games were paid in cash, and there's no record of where the money went.
"In my opinion, it's a recipe to steal," said Police Juror Dewey Dukes. "There's no doubt we need to be keeping better records... To write a check, cash it and use cash money is a no-no. I'm really concerned about it."
Dukes is worried about checks like one News 2 obtained for $4,000. Parish Treasurer Rebecca Mayeux signed it along with Police Jury President Melanie Bueche. All of the checks are made out to Erica Jarreau, the assistant director for recreation. News 2 learned when Jarreau receives the checks, she cashes them and apparently pays the people who work parish recreational events with that cash.
"We don't know who passed the cash money out," Dukes said. "There are no records."
When we went looking for Jarreau today we met up with her boss, Director of Recreation Sal Genusa, who said he had no comment about the situation. Genusa and another person inside his office immediately got in their cars and left when we showed up.
Seth Dornier is the attorney representing the Parish's Recreation Department. He believes his client did nothing wrong and has been following guidelines the parish has had in place for two decades. He said News 2 would receive the records we were looking for when they are tracked down.
So we went looking for Rebecca Mayeux, the parish treasurer. Her name appears on all of the checks.
"I write the check to Erica, clearly as the check says," Mayeux said, but then told News she was never given any records of who was paid from those checks.
Although no one knows where the records are, Mayeux and Dukes want the Parish's policy changed. Tonight, Dukes authored a resolution to change the policy and stop the current check writing practices to the Parish's Recreation Department.